Spousal Registered Retirement Savings Plans are not universally understood by investors, and are certainly not utilized to their maximum benefit.
These financial vehicles were designed to encourage retirement savings with tax breaks at time of contribution and at time of withdrawal, just like regular RRSPs.
The question of reducing debt or contributing to savings will continue to be debated for as long as people plan to retire in Canada.
Of course opting for both: reducing debt and increasing savings is the ideal. As for which is better, however, really depends on the individuals involved, their goals and feelings and their unique financial situations.